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tv   Early Today  NBC  August 1, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PDT

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good thursday morning. coming up on "early today." ariel castro due in court for sentencing. we'll hear how he held three women captive for a decade. more reports that alex rodriguez faces a life suspension. his lawyer wanting to cut a deal with major league baseball. george zimmerman stopped by the roadside. wh he said was in his glove compartment. plus a government fix for high student loan interest rates. o.j. simpson wins parole but not freedom. and some nonbelievers get their sweet revenge. "early today" starts right now. >> announcer: there is "early today" for thursday, august 1st. good morning. i'm richard lui. cleveland kidnapper ariel castro
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is expected to speak today at his sentencing hearing. as part of a plea deal, he'll be spared the death penalty. but prosecutors say the man called a monster will spend the rest of his life behind bars. nbc's jay gray is live outside the courthouse in cleveland. jay, good morning to you. what do we expect to happen today? >> reporter: good morning, richard. it should be a long, emotional day in the courtroom here today as you talk about ariel castro agreeing to a plea deal that avoids the death penalty but includes a minimum sentence of life plus 1,000 years behind bars. look, these are horrific crimes. the prosecutors have said that all look and now they plan to speak in detail about these crimes really for the first time in court here today. we already know ariel castro's future. >> this man is going to prison for the rest of his life. >> reporter: today, we'll learn more about his horrific past. in just hours, prosecutors will present evidence and expert testimony they say outlines
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nearly a decade of abuse by a man they call a monster. >> guilty, your honor. >> reporter: castro has pleaded guilty to kidnapping amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight. and more than 900 other charges including rape, assault and aggravated murder. >> my addiction to pornography and my sexual problem has really taken a toll on my mind. >> castro spoke as he made his plea late last week and will have the opportunity to say even more in today's hearing. >> thank you for the support. >> reporter: so will his victims, though it's not clear if they will testify. since their escape, the women have released one brief recorded statement as they work to try and reclaim their lives. >> i am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high. >> reporter: today's sentencing, one of the final important steps in that difficult walk. overnight, police released a
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copy of a written statement from michelle knight thanking them for their help and continued support. one of the lines saying, quote, life is tough, but i'm tougher. more than 10,000 people have donated more than $1 million to a trust fund to help the women through their recovery. live in cleveland, i'm jay gray. richard, back to you. >> thanks for that. one of baseball's most famous athletes may never play again. nbc sports says superstar slugger alex rodriguez could be banned for life from the sport. lawyers for rodriguez are now reportedly trying to negotiate a deal to avoid that permanent ban. as early as friday, major league baseball is expected to suspend a-rod and eight others suspected of using her -- performance-enhancing drugs. but if a-rod fights the suspension to next season, the mlb is threatening to ban him from the sport altogether. the investigation has turned up e-mails, text messages and other information that show rodriguez recruited athletes for the
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clinic. he then tried to buy incriminating evidence. new dash cam video shows george zimmerman being pulled over for speeding in texas. he had a gun with him. it happened about 25 miles east of dallas. zimmerman told the officer he had a gun in his life compartment and that he was going, quote, nowhere in particular. the officer told zimmerman to slow down and released him with a warning. texas state law allows people to carry a gun in a vehicle as long as it is not in plain view. zimmerman's attorneys posted a tweet in response to the news saying they are working to protect his privacy. last month he was acquitted in the shooting death of trayvon martin. at least a half dozen members of congress head to the white house today to voice their concerns about the government's massive surveillance program. this after a new bombshell from the nsa. nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell has all the details.
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>> reporter: it's a brief new look inside the secrets of the nsa. the director of national intelligence released several documents to show fisa court oversight of the spy program that sweeps up americans' phone records data. the government has acknowledged using a wider net than previously known. in what's known as hop analysis, the nsa tracks a call made by a terror suspect, but can then track all the records linked to anyone the first suspect calls and then to each of those contacted. senator dick durbin was clearly uneasy. >> when you look at the reach of this program, it envelops a substantial number of americans. >> reporter: frustration between senators and the intelligence community, starting with how nsa leaker edward snowden was ever granted access to the country's most guarded spy programs. senator patrick leahy dismayed that no heads have rolled at the nsa. >> if a 29-year-old school
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dropout can come in and take out massive, massive amounts of data, it's obvious that there weren't adequate controls. has anybody been fired? >> no, sir, not yet. >> has anybody been admonished? >> sir, those investigations are under way. >> reporter: many senators who believe the programs are necessary for national security say more is needed to ensure they're conducted legally. >> i don't want the public to take our word for it. i think there's a balance here. >> reporter: the pushback goes beyond congress. at a conference in las vegas, a heckler shouted at the nsa director general alzander. >> if you disagree with what we're doing, then you should help twice as much. >> read the constitution. >> i have. you should, too. >> reporter: kelly o'donnell, nbc news, the capitol. a new round of evacuations in central washington as a massive wildfire continues to grow.
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that blaze has burned more than 104 square miles and is only 8% contained. authorities have declared a state of emergency and they've implemented a statewide ban on outdoor fires until the end of september. bill karins here with us. moisture, heat. >> pretty warm summer so far. this fire season is lagging behind most. that's to the surprise of many. >> that's good. >> let's talk about fairbanks, alaska. one of the coldest places there is. yesterday's high temp was 80 degrees. and the other temperatures there are current temperatures. but 80 in fairbanks yesterday. we'll do it again today. it's 59 currently. the reason this is important is the most 80-degree days ever in one year in fairbanks was 30. well, yesterday was 29. and today, they are expecting the temperatures with clear skies to be pretty much even warmer. up to 84. this will break the record, tie the record for the most 80-degree days in the summer
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season in fairbanks. that's how hot it's been in interior sections of alaska. they'll easily probably shatter that record. there is heat somewhere. also hot in the desert southwest and continues that way yesterday. we have pretty much clear skies in many areas of nevada and california. that upper area still bringing showers through interior sections of idaho. boise is missing out on most of those showers toward bakers city and areas of washington state. dry in most areas. that interior sections of alaska, the temperatures, very impressive this summ sections o washington state. in the lower 48, hasn't had a lot of record-breaking hot heat this summer. it's somewhere. a lot of it is taking place in
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russia and now alaska. >> frosty the snowman in fairbanks, they are melting away. >> yeah. coming up, how the u.s. is reacting to syrian leader bashar al assad's new instagram account. plus, which would be prefer, would you rather gain weight or get out of debt? the results of a new survey when "early today" returns.
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some stories making news this morning -- students will be getting a break on college loans soon. wednesday, the house passed a bipartisan bill to set interest rates to the student loan to the ten-year treasury note. up next is for president obama to sign it into law. the atf officially has a new director. the senate confirmed byron todd jones in a hearing wednesday. jones is the agent's first permanent director in seven years. syrian president bashar al assad has opened an instagram account and the u.s. state department is not happy about it. the photos show al assad working at his desk, meeting with women and children and looking like an
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all around good guy, so some say. a spokesperson for the state department called the account a despicable pr stunt. o.j. simpson was granted parole. the charges from his 2008 kidnapping and armed robbery convictions but simpson says -- rather, but simpson will stay in prison for as long as four more years on other charges. a porole hearing on those will not come until next spring. and rhode island and minnesota are the latest states to legalize same-sex marriage. at midnight, couples rushed government offices to obtain marriage licenses. stocks close out july on a mixed note after the fed offered no clues on when it may start cutting back its stimulus programs. investors also reacting to data showing a surprise uptick in china's manufacturing sector last month. but good news today on unemployment and earnings from exxonmobil. apple's asian suppliers are gearing up for mass production
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of an ipad mini this fall. the new tablet has a higher resolution retina display and will use screens from apple's rival samsung. automakers report july sales numbers today. it's expected to be another banner month thanks in part to july 4th sales promotions and as dealers clear out remaining 2013 cars and trucks. richard, back to you. u.s. manufacturing doing well. closing arguments in the battle over martha stewart branded home goods to tell you about. at issue is whether jcpenney can sell certain products despite macy's deal with martha stewart. a facebook milestone. its stock finally trading above its initial public offering of $38. the stock rose as high as 38.31 but then fell to close at 36.80. and they say you can never be too rich or too thin. but what if you had to choose?
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the credit karma poll finds only about 3 in 10 americans would be willing to gain 25 pounds to get out of debt. apparently a pound of flesh is worth an awful lot. good question. just ahead, the latest in the battle between college athletes and video gamemaker electronic arts. plus, christian ronaldo better stick to soccer. sports when we return.
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now for the latest in sports, philadelphia eagles wide receiver riley cooper is apologizing for making a racial slur at a kenny chesney concert. it was captured on video and led to him getting fined. cooper said he was drinking when he directed the "n" word as an african-american security guard at the june concert. >> this is, you know, kind of the lowest of lows. this isn't the type of person i want to be portrayed as. this isn't the type of person that i am. and i am just extremely sorry. >> michael vick has accepted his apology. a court rejects video game company electronic arts, claiming use of college football player likenesses is protected by the first amendment. the court's decision clears the way for other lawsuits. damages could be in the tens of millions. looking good. president obama honoring university of connecticut women's basketball team.
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they are eight-time ncaa champs. the president saying he was proud that they serve as role models to his daughters. soccer superstar cristiano ronaldo kicking it with dodgers star puig. soccer ball all good but baseball, not so good. ronaldo's ceremonial first pitch, watch this right here. it goes way wide. second throw, it was much better. here it comes. no it does not go. remember justin bieber standing on the blackhawks logo? they've taken a bieber photo on tour stepping on it in various places around the country. now teen girls gasping at that. what's alex rodriguez been doing to release some stress? evidently going to hooters. he and a female friend ordered 20 medium sauce wings. tmz saying they're not sure if the chicken had growth hormones. their joke, not ours.
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he left a great tip, though, he said. new orleans quarterback drew brees evidently left a $3 tip on a $74 meal. he tweeted, hey, this was takeout. it was not table service. all righty. just ahead, the big movie stars bradley cooper and jennifer lawrence are reuniting for. plus, find out what george clooney is finding his coffee endorsement paychecks on.
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welcome back.
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your forecast as you head out the door today looks just fine in most areas. there some are showers at the higher elevations moving outside into the north of boise. overall, it looks like a dry day. still cooler. yesterday only 71 in seattle. one of the cooler days in a while. today only 73. desert areas still very warm. and toll pretty much the same today as it was yesterday. friday forecast, some showers up to seattle. looks like a beautiful day around boise. interior sections should be very nice. i misspoke earlier. fairbanks tied the record yesterday with most 80-degree days. today they will break it and have -- go for the warmest summer ever. 31 is what you were saying? >> yes. >> amazing stuff. thank you bill karins. entertainment news -- randy travis seems to be recovering. the country singer checked into a physical therapy center after undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure and a stroke. according to "us weekly" simon cowell's alleged affair with his friend's estranged wife has taken a turn.
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he's reportedly fathered a child with lauren silverman. soon to be mom is about three months along. cowell has not commented on the story. warren buffett had a ball in the big apple last night at the favorite show, "breaking bad." the billionaire investor is such a super fan, he previously filmed a skit for a berkshire hathaway meeting featuring stare down with his favorite character, walter white. >> is warren buffett really as cool as he appears to be? >> he is getting cooler and cooler. lindsay lohan's rehab stint is over. now they are recommending rehab to keep her on track. bradley cooper, crystal bale and jennifer lawrence head up an all-star cast in a movie that opens auto christmas day. it will be a good one. finally, george clooney has his eyes in the skies.
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the actor says he's using a spy satellite to track omar al bashir. clooney keeps a watch on the dictator's army and informs sudanese people on their movements. >> how much money do you make doing nespresso ads? >> he's doing a lot of world good will by spending it in a place that will help some folks. >> if i had my own spy satellite, i don't think i'd be as productive. >> lots of money and coffee. you may not do that. what would you be doing? >> it wouldn't be good. >> we'll leave it at that with bill karins. i'm richard lui. we hope it's just your first stop of the day on nbc.
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leading the news in usa today, christie douses talk of beer summit with paul. new jersey governor chris christie says he doesn't have time to grab a brewski with senator rand paul. they've been engaging in a week-long war of words. and in the "new york times," road through roman history creates colossal headaches. a plan to ban private vehicles on a busy artery that passes the coliseum has pitted rome's mayor against conservationists and shop owners. in just hours we should learn more about ariel castro's past. prosecutors at his sentencing hearing will present evidence and expert testimony. they say that will -- it will outline nearly a decade of abuse by a man they call a monster. and castro is expected to speak
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there. heccepted a plea deal of life behind bars, plus 1,000 years. and one of the three women castro held for a decade released a handwritten thank you note for the cleveland police department wednesday. michelle knight says life is tough, but i'm tougher. officials disclosed the women documented their decade of captivity in a series of diaries. could a-rod's end be imminent? alex rodriguez could be banned for life from baseball. his lawyers now reportedly trying to negotiate a deal to avoid that expected ban for using performance enhancing drugs. professional skateboarder bob burn quist is taking extreme skateboarding to a whole new level. a new video released by the oakley sunglass company shows burnquist being released from a helicopter on to a ramp below. >> he drops on to the rail. >> there he goes. even the helicopter gets in on the action doing a few ariel
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tricks. >> just where they built the ramp. >> that is more dangerous, the ariel helicopter tricks. >> when he jumped off just on to the -- >> see, that's something. >> anything involving moving rotors. >> that's cool stuff. looking ahead -- president obama talks to lawmakers about government surveillance. illinois will become the latest state with a medical marijuana law. later today, pat quinn will sign the legislation making it the 20th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. happy birthday to tempest bledsoe from the cosby show. "skyfall" director sam mendes turns 48. and rapper coolio is 50. coming up on the "today" show, the digital down low. how easy it is to track your digital footprints and invade your privacy. keep it right here for more news, weather and sports. i'm richard lui along with bill karins. thanks for watching "early
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breaking news out of the south bay. a young woman reportedly attacked overnight just a block away from a local university. what we're learning about the incident and the search for the suspect now under way. we also have new details this morning about a potential bedbug outbreak at a good will warehouse on the peninsula. plus, it's not a strike but it could threaten this evening's commute. what b.a.r.t. workers are doing this afternoon that could affect thousands in the bay area trying to get home in time for dinner. we want to start with good news, before the sunshine comes up. look at the traffic. don't have worry about anything on this thursday, august 1st. this is "today in the bay."